The new pound coin has been given a release date, and as part of a government campaign The Royal Mint has published new guidelines to prepare small business owners for its introduction in March.
For businesses with equipment accepting pound coins, the campaign urges several essential checks before the coin is circulated.
Coin-accepting equipment found in payphones, gaming machines and photo booths could require upgrades, and business owners will also need to ensure staff vending machines are ready for the switch.
Owners have been advised by The Royal Mint to contact machine manufacturers as soon as possible to prepare for necessary upgrades to equipment. Samples are available on request to business owners who require them for upgrades.
Highlighting the support on offer, Adam Lawrence, chief executive of The Royal Mint, said: “We would encourage business owners to visit The Royal Mint website as soon as possible, to find out how the new pound coin could affect their business and what steps they need to take to prepare for the launch of the coin in March 2017.”
A co-circulation period will run until September 2017, during which small business owners will need to return old and new pound coins in separate bags when cashing in money to a bank. As the coins have different weights, mixed bags will slow down the bank’s counting process and could delay the crediting of accounts.
In November last year, Business Advice revealed the new security features that could save small firms across the UK millions in counterfeit money.
A hologram image, micro lettering and a hidden high security feature will prevent counterfeiting of the new pound coin, but business owners have been told to hand in suspected counterfeits to a local police station.
Employers have been reminded to communicate the new features to staff and make sure that all employees are familiar with the new pound coin.
Speaking on the coin’s imminent introduction, David Gauke, chief secretary to the Treasury, said that March 28 should be “an important date in everybody’s calendar this year”.
“This is a historic moment as it’s the first time we’ve introduced a new £1 coin since 1983, and this one will be harder to counterfeit than ever before.”
A 2015 survey by the Royal Mint found that one-in-40 of all pound coins were fake, equating to a figure of 30m in 2014.
The design for the new pound coin came from a competition involving 6,000 entries. A 15 year-old from Walsall produced the winning design, one featuring a rose, leek, thistle and shamrock emerging from a Royal Coronet.
To demonstrate the features of the new pound coin, The Royal Mint has released the following video.
Find out how the new £5 note could protect your firm’s cash flow
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